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miscellaniac on 03/15/2013 at 11:00AM

Patrick, You're A Saint

Image courtesy of bollesbiggestfan1/flickr

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I present a mix made up of artists who currently reside in Ireland, have Irish roots, or simply a pronounced Irish influence. As you'll discover, not all Irish music sounds like what you would hear at a parade or a sports pub (aka. a spub, like a spud - Irish!). For more overtly Irish-sounding tunes, I recommend this Magically Delicious Mix featuring "Irish Hearts" by Fred van Eps.

Patrick J. Touhey “Drowsy Maggie” - OK, this is one of the few exceptions to my preface, but this is such a gorgeous traditional folk song. Irish-American Touhey played the Uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) and this recording is from 1919.

Dublin Duck Dispensary "Irish Rebel Song" - Now I really am starting to look like a hypocrite. But, Bobby Aherne's lo-fi solo act is one of my faves and he happens to be from Dublin and to also have produced this dreamy song that sounds like it could have emanated from the recent crop of Northern New Jersey bands like Big Troubles, Ducktails, and Julian Lynch.

Nora O'Connor "Two Way Action" - O'Connor is a first-generation Irish-American (and native Chicagoan), performs with Andrew Bird and The Blacks, has toured with everyone from Mavis Staples to New Pornographers, and also happens to be a renowned bartender, doula, and ordained reverend. (Yeah, what have YOU done today?) The eclectic warmth of all of these endeavors melts through in this track.

Sláinte "Julia Delaney" - Another one to slip past my preamble, Sláinte is a legit Irish band from Tacoma. Pronounced "slawn-cha" it is Gaelic for "cheers" or "good health." This is definitely one you can get jiggy with (sorry). Combines the good parts of a jam band with stunning traditional instrumentation that would kick the crud out of an Irish Spring commercial.

Solvents "Yr. Ghostwriter" - Bandmembers Emily Madden and Jarrod Bramson met when Bramson played rhythm guitar in Madden's father's traditional Irish folk band. The spark that crackled into Solvents lays its melodic residue all over rich violin and vocals.


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mwalker on 09/07/2011 at 12:20AM


Prince Rama returns with their cult of The Now Age.

Back in February, Prince Rama emerged from a haze of smoke and mylar mirrors to assume the guise of The Now Age, a pseudo-utopian cult eager to lead their followers through a transformative series of rituals and initiations. Having reincarnated ISSUE's loft space as a cosmic aerobic center, glittering and psychedelic, the Larson sisters woke the sleeping audience with generous sprinkles of perfume and chakra water to lead them through an 8-hour marathon of body- and mind-altering exorcise/exercise routines -- part Jane Fonda, part Jodorowsky. Below, view some highlights from the exhausting rituals that left me cleansed of demons and self-identity (and unable to walk the next day).

This Thursday (September 8), Prince Rama will return as The Now Age to guide us through the next cycle of transformation, taking the form of a free-for-all, 4-hour jam session. With the aid of roughly 400 pounds of soil, ISSUE will again metamorphose into a sacred space -- removed from time and space and yet inextricably connected to the present moment -- for housing advanced rituals in which the audience and their shamanic leaders engage in utopian musical creation as "a poetic reenactment and microcosmic creation of an ideal democratic society." All participants are encouraged to please bring along their instrument of choice. Read more about the free event and RSVP here.

To ready your mind and body for the next stage of the journey, Prince Rama have shared their new single "Rest In Peace," off their forthcoming LP Trust Now (dropping on Paw Tracks on October 4). If you find yourself in need of more preparation, you can revisit their fantastic in-studio from Brian Turner's show here.

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natewooley on 06/19/2011 at 01:51PM

The Halcyon Days of Being Poor: How Lack of Money led me to the music of Lee Hyla and the flute playing of Claire Chase

Lee Hyla, whose "We Speak Etruscan" will be featured in a guest performance by Josh Sinton and Ken Thomas on Wednesday, June 22nd at Issue Project Room on a concert by Claire Chase and Rebekah Heller

When I first moved to New York in 2001, I was bussing tables for a living and absolutely on the edge of not making it financially.  The main obstacle produced by my poverty at the time was not a product of the mundane (i.e. food, rent, transportation), but the, for all intents and purposes, two year hiatus of buying records.  Anyone that is a record collector or hardcore music fan knows where I'm coming from.

Because necessity is the mother of invention, or in my case desperation the great aunt of getting my butt on a train, I became a fixture at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library.  I was overwhelmed, initially, by their recording collection, so being the pragmatist that I am, not to mention slightly obsessive, I started at the upper left of their holdings, checking out 5 cds at a time, and worked my way through until I hit the letter "I". 

What does this have to do with anything, let alone DRAM or New World Records, the people who, ostensibly, let me present music for download on FMA? It's a tenuous connection, but one I'm going to run with anyway, as the ends will justify the means. 

The last recording I really dug into from my time with the NYPL was New World Records recording of Lee Hyla's "We Speak Etruscan", performed by Tim Berne on baritone saxophone and Tim Smith on bass clarinet.   I listened to this recording over and over, even making a trip back up to Lincoln Center from Jersey City to renew the disc and listen some more.  I loved "Pre-Pulse Suspended" and the great Aleck Karis playing Hyla's Piano Concerto, but the piece that resonated the most with me was the title piece.  There was something very specific about the aesthetic knife edge that Hyla inhabited between jazz and contemporary composed music that has been stuck in my mind ever since.  Needless to say, when I joined the rank and file here at DRAM/New World, this was the first cd I pulled off of the shelves to revisit.

A dear friend and collaborator of mine, Josh Sinton told me a year ago that he was working on the bari sax part of We Speak Etruscan.  This is not unusual for Josh, he pushes himself.  It's one of my favorite things about him.  I was not expecting him, however, to tell me that he would be performing the piece on the Darmstadt month at Issue Project Room.  When I found out that the performance would be shared by one of my favorite flutists of a generation, Claire Chase, (whose work I also discovered in my obsessive visits to the stacks at Lincoln Center) would feature compositions by Darmstadt and IPR's own Zach Layton, and the words "virtuoso whistler" were set in print in relation to the event, I had a moment of artistic righteous indignation. 




And, so here we are. Me, feeling a certain satisfaction at being able to tell you what I think is right and good in the world of music.  You, being the lucky recipient of two great tracks of contemporary woodwind playing.

This post features the original Lee Hyla recording from the New World Records Release of the same name, and I was also lucky enough to get a recording from Claire of her performing Marcelo Toledo's "Aliento/arrguas", which will also be featured. 

Issue Project Room is located at 232 3rd Street in Brooklyn.  Claire Chase/Rebekah Heller plus We Speak Etruscan will be featured on Wednesday, June 22nd at 8 pm.  Get your tickets here, and while you're at it, why not check out the remainder of the Darmstadt Institute's month at IPR or make a donation to either organization.  Consider it your summer time good deed.

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Northern-Spy_Records on 01/04/2011 at 09:31AM

Adam's Top Ten Performances of 2010

1) William Basinski's performance of 'Vivian and Ondine' at 110 Livingston (Brooklyn, NY)

The significance of this gig was already apparent before the lights dimmed and William Basinski stepped behind his table for a performance of  the 2008 composition 'Vivian and Ondine'.  The first sound he made was accidental - the apple computer start-up sound.  Drawing chuckles from the crowd, it was a harsh, sharp attack opposite his cathartic, glacially unraveling tape loops.  Behind Basinski, the Joshua Light Show 'liquid lights' highlighted the beautiful interior of the 110 Livingston building, Issue's future home.


2) Sir Richard Bishop at Zebulon (Brooklyn, NY)

During his 4 week residency at Zebulon, Rick performed a mixed bag of exotic, instrumental guitar songs and classic, surreal story-songs from the SCG catalog.  I attended 3 out of 4 of the shows including one in which he was accompanied by the incredible Bill Orcutt.  To be frank, it was too hot and sweaty to enjoy that one.  I believe it was his opening night that Bishop played 'Eyeball in a Quart Jar of Snot'.  INCREDIBLE!  He asked if there were any requests to which I quickly shouted "play Nancy" drawing a smirk and a "NO".

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